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The New McCarthyism

by northstar at 05:30 PM on March 17, 2002

One of the aspects of the war on terrorism that I find particularly frightening is the militant aversion some Conservatives have for criticism of Shrub and/or the war on terrorism. I always thought that one of the things that distinguishes this country from places like Iraq or Iran is that we can say whatís on our minds. Thatís not to say that whatever is said will be met with universal approval, but at least you donít have to worry about being summarily executed. I think thatís a good thing.

Well, now that there is a war on, Conservatives like John Ashcroft and William Bennett have taken to viewing legitimate criticism or questions to be giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Right; how will someone living in a cave benefit from someone like me asking why Shrub wants $36 billion for homeland security and how he is going to spend it?

A scary new watchdog group called Americans for Victory Over Terrorism is Bennettís latest attempt to introduce fear, intimidation, and self-censorship into the American political landscape. Using the ďloose lips sinks shipsĒ school of thought, AVOT will ďpromote the democratic ideals of freedom, liberty, equality, and human rightsĒ- just as long as you donít actually try to exercise any of those rights by criticizing the President or the war on terrorism. Try that and some right-wing nutcase will be comparing you to John Walker Lindh.

Iíd always thought that McCarthyism was a legacy left to me by my parentís generation- something to be studied and understood, but only for posterity. I never thought that I would see the Senatorís ghost re-emerge again, particularly after 9.11.01. Well, there are those of us who live to be a thorn in the side of ignorance, fear, and reaction. Iím here to tell you that as long as I walk the earth and have access to a keyboard, Iím going to do my best to piss off the Radical Right. I consider it my sworn duty, and Iím pretty good at it. If more us would do the same, perhaps people like Bennett and Ashcroft will come to understand the true power of freedom of speech and expression.

Party on, Garth!!

comments (1)

I find it strange that you claim to want to be "a thorn in the side of ignorance, fear, and reaction" and fallaciously compare Bennett's AVOT to McCarthyism. The McCarthy era was a witchhunt, and it ruined people's lives. AVOT wants nothing more than to put a happy face on a war that's momentum is flagging. They've got as much right to opine on commentary of the anti-war movement as those in the anti-war movement to opine against the war.

Now, if anyone is spreading fear, ignorance and overreation, it is people like you who take everything the government is doing as some sort of personal attack. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. You can all AVOT propaganda if you want, but don't call it McCarthyism.

by mg at March 18, 2002 7:22 PM

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